badly_knitted (badly_knitted) wrote,

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Fic: Interview With An Alien

Title: Interview With An Alien
Author: badly_knitted
Characters: OFC, Ianto, Jack.
Rating: G
Spoilers: Nada.
Summary: Aliens are real, and this chat show host has the unprecedented opportunity to interview one on her show. What a scoop!
Word Count: 1038
Written For: Prompt 011 – Interview at fandomweekly.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Torchwood, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.

The interviewer was doing her best not to stare at her guest, despite being filled with something approaching apprehension; he was just so odd. Still, this interview was going out live and for the sake of her viewers she had to remain calm. The last thing anyone needed right now was for her guest’s appearance to cause global panic.

She carefully affected an expression of mild curiosity and interest. “I apologise for staring but most people have never even seen a picture of an alien, never mind met one face-to-face. It’s a little disconcerting.”

“That’s quite alright. I understand that I must look very strange to you.” Her guest did something odd with what she assumed to be his mouth. It was where his voice was coming from at least, but the teeth framing it, if that was what they were, just looked so horrible! To be honest, nothing about this… person was at all appealing to look at. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t be polite to say so.

“Presumably I must look rather strange to you as well, perhaps even ugly?” The words came out more as a question than a statement of fact.

“Oh, actually no, not at all. I’ve travelled to a great many worlds, met people of all shapes and sizes and colours. After a while, you learn that people are basically the same regardless of what they look like. Every race has its own customs, its own culture, and some are more technologically or socially advanced than others, but the number of limbs or eyes, whether they have ears, antennae, or both, the colour of their skin, fur, or feathers… It’s all just window dressing. It’s the mind that matters, the intellect.”

“How fascinating!” The interviewer meant it too. “I’ve never considered that.”

“Well, for your people, this is their first contact with a member of an alien race. On my own world, the first time the people learned that we were being regularly visited by people from other worlds… It made them somewhat nervous. There was outright panic in some places, the fear that our world was about to be invaded, taken over by these aliens. We were, in fact, subjected to several unsuccessful invasion attempts, it does happen on occasion; not to alarm your viewers, but the fact is, there are a few less than friendly races out there.”

That was an alarming thought. “Should we be worried?”

“I would say not; such people prefer to target the less advanced worlds, where they believe they’ll meet little resistance. They want an easy conquest, not a hard-fought battle, and besides, such aggressive races are really a very small minority compared to the thousands of civilised and peaceful ones that make up this universe we all call home.”

“To set my viewers’ minds at rest, you’re not some advance scout for a race looking to conquer us, are you?”

A peculiar sound emanated from the alien; he seemed amused. “No, I’m simply a traveller looking to learn about the people and cultures of the worlds I visit, and to teach about my own world and people in return. The more both of our races can learn about the others who populate the galaxy, the less fear there will be when making first contact with other races. I am, if you like, an ambassador for the wider universe, paving the way for future contact between the worlds I visit. I…” The guest broke off as an odd chirping sound came from somewhere on his body. “I do apologise.” Reaching into his clothing, he pulled out a small device and held it to his head. “This really isn’t a good time; I’m being interviewed on a live feed being broadcast over the whole planet. What? How should I know where you left it? Listen, I can’t talk now; I’ll help you look for it when I get back.” He pushed the device back into his outer garment. “So sorry; my mate is forever losing things and always expects me to know where they are.”

If anything, the guest’s harassed tone made him seem more like a real person, less like a monster from outer space, and the interviewer relaxed. “My own… ah… mate is just the same,” she said.

“It’s a universal constant, and they always call to ask when you’re in the middle of something. Now, where were we before we were so rudely interrupted.”

“I’ve quite lost track,” the interviewer admitted. “But please, would you tell the viewers a little about your people? You obviously have family units.”

“We do; two people who are mutually attracted to each other will set up home together, and if they choose to, will raise one or more offspring.”

“Do you and your mate have offspring?”

“Not at present, no, but we do hope to before long. We’ve been talking about taking a break from travelling and returning to our homeworld to raise a family. We could of course have children aboard our spaceship, but that wouldn’t be much of a life for them. They should have the opportunity to grow up with other children, where there’s plenty of room for them to run and play.”

That was something many of the viewers could understand and appreciate; family was very important.

“Well, I think that’s really all we have time for today but thank you so much for joining us. Perhaps you’d come back again before you leave and answer some of our viewers’ many questions?”

“I would be delighted.” Ianto Jones stood and made the proper obeisances to the interviewer, Marga Droov, proving that his people, despite their peculiar appearance and outlandish clothing, were really quite civilised and well mannered. He repeated the low bow and courtly gestures towards the video-bot, for the benefit of Marga’s many viewers, and the interview ended. “Now, if you would excuse me, I’d better go and sort Jack out. Honestly, he’d lose his head if it wasn’t screwed on.”

As he departed, Marga followed him with two of her eyes; these people had detachable heads? How extraordinary; she’d really have to ask him about that next time. To her surprise, she found she was quite looking forward to talking with him again.

The End

Tags: fandomweekly, fic, fic: g, fic: one-shot, ianto jones, jack harkness, jack/ianto, other character/s, torchwood fic

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